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Top-End Engine Rebuild Part 2: Assessing the Situation to Plan the Repair

Once torn down, the next step in repairing any engine is to conduct a number of tests to determine what needs to be done for the engine to operate reliably once again. In this case, it was apparent with the heads removed that the blown head gasket did NOT do irreparable damage to the lower end of the engine reciprocating mass. This was determined by rotating the engine by hand, inspecting the cylinder walls and pistons, in addition to checking the push rods, camshaft, and lifters for drop.

Once the engine was deemed viable for repair, the heads were dropped off at a local machine shop for re-manufacturing. A new set of exhaust manifolds and risers were also purchased. The cylinder heads were returned in like-new condition.

To prepare for re-installation, the engine block surfaces were scraped and sanding to ensure a perfect fit with the new head gasket.

New Head Gasket Tested for a Proper Fit

With the parts in hand and tested for fitment, it was time to re-assemble the engine and clean up the working area in part 3.

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